Foreign national individuals, both resident aliens and nonresident aliens, may have either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
A Social Security Number (SSN) is:
A nine-digit number assigned by the Social Security Administration to an individual for tax and wage reporting purposes
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is:
A nine-digit number assigned to an individual who is required to have a tax identification number, but who is ineligible for a Social Security Number
The ITIN is for tax reporting purposes and/or for claiming tax treaty benefits
NOTE: A nonresident alien who wishes to claim exemption from tax withholding under a tax treaty MUST have an SSN or ITIN
Social Security Number (SSN)
How do I apply for an SSN?
Complete Form SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card and go to your local Social Security Administration Office
Where can I get an SSN form?
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN):
The ITIN does not:
entitle the recipient to social security benefits
indicate immigration status
give the right to work in the U.S.
The ITIN cannot be used in place of an SSN (if eligible for the latter) for tax and wage reporting.
How do I apply for an ITIN?
Submit a completed IRS Form W-7 Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, along with documentation to substantiate your foreign status and true identity, to the IRS.
Where do I obtain the IRS Form W-7 application for an ITIN?